The way that networks are being built is changing. Server virtualization, overlay networking, and virtualized services in the network are redefining the network. And maybe the most exciting opportunity – SDN – has the potential to accelerate change for the better, providing a much more agile IT infrastructure. As organizations look to the future and the potential that SDN brings, they still need to make decisions to solve today’s challenges – Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), data center consolidation and convergence, WAN utilization – and so how do they invest today while ensuring they protect their network investment for the future and can respond to these exciting changes when the time is right.
At Juniper, our commitment to customers is that we will help you take advantage of the best technologies to evolve your networks at the right pace for your business and that we will provide investment protection so that whatever the future holds, you won’t have stranded capital. To that end, there are some guiding principles that customers can use today, regardless of where they are in the SDN adoption curve, to maximize their network investment. We believe that simple, modular architectures provide better performance, that programmable systems allow you to meet future requirements and that the network should not limit how you implement components such as orchestration, overlay networks, and SDN controllers.
Simple, Modular Architectures Are Always Better
When SDN reaches its promise it will be critical to have agile and simple network architecture. If your core network devices can’t meet the challenge of future requirements you will be starting over and that won’t be good on your balance sheet, to your users, or your team. It will also starve you of resources you need to innovate in your core business. The network doesn’t get any simpler than a design with one switch to manage and any-to-any connectivity; this is what we call a true fabric architecture. Here’s what to look for as you’re evaluating your data center networking decisions today:
Programmable Systems Protect your Future
Programmable systems allow you to engage with multiple orchestration systems, use multiple SDN protocols, and get the best from technology today and tomorrow. There are a number of protocols that are emerging as standards – OpenFlow, VXLAN, NVGRE, and PCE to name a few. Each has specific strengths. You want to be able to use any or all of them for what they do best. And frankly, we don’t know which ones will “win the day” as SDN evolves. So you want to look at your network elements and ensure that they have current or committed support for a variety of protocols and that adding new and yet-to-be-developed protocols in the future won’t require a painful swap out of your hardware. To make this possible your network architecture should support you with elements such as:
The Network Should Not Force Your Hand on Other Important IT Decisions
Potentially the biggest mistake you could make with a promising new technology is to lock yourself in before you know what will be right for you in the longer term. As you’re making decisions now, you can optimize how your network will play with your current infrastructure, or you can optimize for what you think shows promise for the future. Would you rather be able to choose a path that does both? For this to happen you need to maintain as much flexibility as possible. Here are some considerations.
We Are In It for the Long Run Together
At Juniper we make investments for the long run, just like you do. We want to ensure that your investment with Juniper will allow your network to serve your organization well into the future. We want to ensure that you can use the best protocols and that your network will support the emerging technologies that you choose, such as overlay networks and SDN. We want to ensure that your network will provide the performance and integration with emerging technologies that is necessary for a complete solution that will serve your business goals. The time to start considering how changes in technology will impact your network purchases is now. It can start by having a conversation with Juniper. For more information contact your account manager or see this link.
Exploring the vision for the networking industry and the issues shaping its future.